2016 Mazda 6 Grand Touring
The refreshed Mazda6 is subtly evolving a good presentation into a polished one. The outside has a touch of blind class that won’t be edgy enough to offend, but stands out enough to look Mazda and refined. In a flooded market of midsize cars there is no confusing the 6 with anything else. In terms of dimensions the car appears large from the outside. Inside the space makes sense without being absurd. The trunk is large enough to fit a small coffin and overall storage is excellent. This feeling of size however does not extend to the driving dynamics. Once seated and operating the car never does one get the sense this is a big machine. It always operates like a smaller compact in terms of agility.
Driving refinement is a mix of quick steering and agile handling along with good ride comfort. This is the midsize car for those who like good steering feel and chassis dynamics. While it absorbs bad pavement and never feels jarring the Mazda6 is on the more sporty side in terms of ride. Interior noise is average, we noticed more wind noise at speed and some tire noise from the 19” tires but never was it distracting. The area that may disappoint is in terms of overall performance. There is only one motor choice, the 2.5L 4 Cylinder. The setup is connected to a 6SP automatic transmission which has also been optimized for fuel efficiency. The car stumbles to 60MPH like a fat kid running towards vegetables. If you are an enthusiast the 6SP manual transmission would make this car livelier.
If the buyer understands the setup of this car is geared toward efficiency then driving the car will be a joy. The Grand Touring model gets i-Eloop which also helps reduce load on the motor by allowing the alternator to release from the drive belt and storing energy in a capacitor instead for short periods. While the car runs off that energy in the capacitor the alternator does not leach power from the motor. During de-acceleration the alternator clutch engages increases engine braking and re-charging the capacitor. The system works without being over complicated, however expect the cost of the alternator to be high along with the capacitor if replacement is needed.
Superb efficiency despite vehicle size. Strained yet smooth performance.
Programmed to always go for the highest gear which is good for efficiency but adds to sluggish performance. Sport mode however can be toggled and shifts are much faster. In manual sport mode the trans shifts quick and will hold revs without auto up shifting.
Direct body control along with top notch steering feel. Suspension feels firm but not overly dampened. Ride is on the sportier side however it never feels harsh. Great balance between comfort and sport.
Worst tank average was 30.2 with 4 hours idle time and hard testing. Best average was 37MPG.
761 above sea level, shell regular fuel.
Despite some minor rattles this is one of the best interiors in the class. Transcends price point and has quality fit and finish along with materials.
Linux based headunit, with Quad Core ARM Processor designed by Johnson Controls. Fast, responsive and intuitive one of the best setups regardless of price point.